Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft attract thousands of customers in the Sacramento area on a daily basis. Many people use rideshares as accessible alternatives to taxis and public transportation, and rideshare drivers are often available at times when other transportation options are not. While most people have positive experiences with rideshare services, it is important to remember that you face the same risk of an accident in a rideshare driver’s vehicle as you would in any other vehicle.
It is technically possible for you to attempt your recovery efforts after a rideshare accident without hiring legal counsel. There is no law that requires you to hire an attorney to represent your case, but it is vital to know the value of having legal counsel you can trust in your impending case. If you tried to handle your recovery efforts alone, you would be forced to contend with complex legal issues while also struggling with medical complications in your recovery. Even if you were able to succeed, you would risk unintentionally accepting a smaller settlement than you rightfully deserve.
The right attorney can potentially mean the difference between securing the maximum amount of compensation possible under California law and settling for less than you rightfully deserve. Your recovery from a rideshare accident is likely to begin with an auto insurance claim, and it is always easier to deal with an insurance carrier when you have legal representation you can trust on your side. Most insurance companies will try to justify the lowest possible settlement offers, but they are less inclined to attempt bad faith handling of a claim when the claimant has legal representation.
Your Sacramento rideshare accident attorney can guide you through the insurance claim process swiftly and help secure as much compensation as possible from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. Once you exhaust your recovery options through insurance, your attorney can again prove invaluable for their assistance with your personal injury claim. Under state law, the defendant who injured you is fully liable for all damages they inflicted with their negligence or misconduct. If you cannot fully recover these losses through insurance, you can proceed with a personal injury suit to recover the rest.
Every rideshare accident victim will face different challenges in the aftermath of their experience, and the right attorney is one of the most valuable assets you can have in this situation. The attorneys at Guenard & Bozarth, LLP, offer client-focused legal counsel for rideshare accidents and other vehicle accident claims in the Sacramento area. You can count on our team to take the time to get to know you and your situation to ensure we provide the most effective legal representation possible.
The first step in recovering from any vehicle accident is proving fault for the accident. California’s fault rule requires you to firmly establish liability for your damages before you can recover any compensation. A few of the most common causes of rideshare accidents and other motor vehicle accidents in the state include:
- Distracted driving, which is one of the most frequently cited causes of all vehicle accidents in the country each year. Even a few moments of inattentive driving is enough to cause a devastating accident. Your Sacramento rideshare accident attorney can know what evidence you will need to prove another driver was distracted when they caused your accident.
- The posted speed limits exist to ensure a safe flow of traffic. Whenever drivers exceed speed limits, they put themselves and others at risk. Additionally, accidents that happen at higher speeds are more likely to result in catastrophic or fatal injuries.
- Moving violations. Whenever drivers disrupt the flow of traffic or disregard traffic signals, they can easily cause accidents. Failure to yield the right-of-way, performing an illegal turn, or failing to stop for a stop sign or red light are just a few examples of moving violations that can cause serious accidents.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. DUI is illegal, and penalties for conviction typically include driver’s license suspension, fines, jail time, and restitution for any damages caused to others. Penalties for DUI increase significantly if the defendant causes bodily injury or death.
An experienced legal team can help gather the evidence needed to prove fault for your damages. You may need a combination of physical and digital evidence as well as testimony from any witnesses who saw the accident happen firsthand. If your accident involves any complex technical details you cannot resolve on your own, your attorney may coordinate an expert witness to provide their professional insights and support your case.
Under California law, every driver must have auto insurance that includes liability coverage. When a driver causes an accident, their insurance policy will pay for damages they inflict on others. Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft require all their drivers to have personal auto insurance policies, but these companies also have additional insurance coverage that can apply in various ways depending on the timing of an accident.
Once you have proven fault for your rideshare accident, you can proceed with the insurance claim filing process. The rideshare company’s insurance may apply, but you typically must first file a claim directly against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. If their insurance cannot cover your damages, you can then proceed with a claim against the rideshare company’s insurance to seek compensation for the remainder.
Rideshare insurance functions based on the timing of an accident. When a rideshare driver is not marked as available for a ride request in their driver app and they are using their vehicle for personal reasons, their own auto insurance applies if they cause an accident. Once they log in to their driver app, the rideshare company’s first level of insurance coverage applies if the rideshare driver causes an accident. At this level, the rideshare company’s insurance can pay for up to $50,000 for bodily injuries to a single person or up to $100,000 for bodily injuries to multiple persons; the policy can also provide up to $25,000 in property damage liability coverage.
As soon as a rideshare driver picks up a passenger, the second level of the rideshare company’s insurance applies as third-party coverage if the driver causes an accident. This can provide up to $1 million in compensation. However, rideshare company insurance will only apply if the rideshare driver caused the accident or if you were riding as a passenger in a rideshare and another driver caused the accident. Your Sacramento rideshare accident attorney can help determine how to direct your insurance claims most effectively after this incident.
Once you have recovered as much compensation as possible through auto insurance, you can collect compensation for any outstanding damages by filing a personal injury claim against the party or parties responsible for your accident. Success with this personal injury claim will require clear proof of the full extent of your damages as well as proof of causation. In other words, you must be prepared to prove that your damages resulted from the defendant’s actions and not any other cause.
State law allows the plaintiff in a personal injury claim to seek full repayment of their financial losses resulting from a defendant’s negligence or misconduct. You could potentially seek compensation for:
- The cost of any medical care you require to fully heal from injuries you suffered in the rideshare accident. Available insurance may only cover a portion of your medical expenses if you suffered a severe injury and/or need ongoing rehabilitative care. State law allows you to hold a defendant accountable for the entire scope of immediate and future medical expenses you face in the aftermath of a rideshare accident attorney.
- Lost wages and lost earning potential. When you are left unable to work due to the severity of your injuries, the defendant who caused those injuries is responsible for the income you are no longer able to earn. You can claim compensation for wages lost during your recovery, and if your injuries have permanently diminished your earning power, you can seek compensation for the future income you are no longer able to earn.
- Property damage. If any of your personal property was lost in the accident, you could seek compensation for any losses that insurance won’t cover with your personal injury suit.
- Pain and suffering. California’s personal injury laws allow you to claim compensation for the physical pain and psychological suffering you experienced from the defendant’s actions. There is no limit to how much you can claim, but the amount sought should reasonably reflect the severity of your experience and the scope of long-term or permanent damages resulting from the incident.
You may learn that your case is worth much more than you expected at first, and hiring the right attorney to handle your claim is the optimal way to maximize your total compensation. When you choose Guenard & Bozarth, LLP, to represent your rideshare accident case, our goal is to help maximize your recovery to the fullest extent possible under the law.
Time is a critical concern for anyone who intends to file any type of civil claim for damages. You must file your claim within the applicable statute of limitations, and if you intend to file an auto insurance claim after your accident, you have an even shorter window of time in which to do so. The sooner you connect with an attorney, the more time they will have to work on your case, and the more likely you will be to maximize your total compensation.
The attorneys at Guenard & Bozarth, LLP, take time to listen to our client’s stories. We know that no two rideshare accidents are exactly alike, and no two clients will face the exact same legal challenges as they seek compensation for their damages. We have experience confronting the largest auto insurance carriers, including those who provide policies to Uber and Lyft. We will guide you through the insurance claim filing process and help you recover as much compensation as possible for your damages, and if this is not enough to ensure a full recovery, you can count on us to help file your personal injury suit.
Most personal injury claims end in a private settlement, and we typically aim to settle our clients’ cases as quickly as possible whenever possible. However, if settlement is not an option for any reason in your impending case, you can rely on us to guide you through litigation and present the most compelling case possible before the judge. Our professional resources, experience, and skills will be fully extended to you throughout your recovery efforts.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim for a Rideshare Accident?
A: If you cannot fully recover your claimable damages through an insurance claim, you must file a personal injury suit against the party responsible for injuring you. The statute of limitations, or time limit for filing your claim, in Sacramento is two years from the date your accident occurred. You will need time to gather evidence to support your claim and prove the full extent of your claimable damages, so it is vital that you consult an experienced Sacramento rideshare accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Recover for My Recent Rideshare Accident?
A: If you can prove that another party is responsible for the harm you suffered in a rideshare accident, you have the right to hold them accountable for all damages you incurred from their actions. You can claim compensation for economic losses such as your medical expenses and lost income, and you can seek compensation for your pain and suffering. Your Sacramento rideshare accident attorney can help determine the true potential value of your case.
Q: What Happens if I’m Partially at Fault for a Rideshare Accident?
A: If you were driving your own vehicle and contributed to causing a rideshare accident, California’s pure comparative negligence law would come into play and influence the outcome of your case. Under this rule, the plaintiff loses a percentage of the total case award equal to their percentage of fault for causing their claimed damages. For example, bearing 10% fault in a $500,000 civil case would mean losing $50,000 or 10% of the total case award.
Q: How Do I Prove Liability for a Rideshare Accident in Sacramento?
A: Proving fault for the accident you recently experienced is likely to require a combination of multiple forms of evidence. You may need physical evidence from the scene of the crash, testimony from witnesses who saw the accident happen firsthand, and digital evidence such as the other driver’s cell phone records and traffic camera footage. Your attorney can assist you in gathering whatever evidence you may require to firmly establish liability for your damages.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Sacramento Rideshare Accident Attorney?
A: The attorneys at Guenard & Bozarth, LLP, offer a contingency fee billing policy to our personal injury clients in Sacramento. This means we will not add to your financial concerns in the aftermath of a rideshare accident with expensive ongoing legal fees. We will only collect our fee if we win your case, and our fee is a percentage of the total compensation we win from the defendant. If, for any reason, we are unable to obtain compensation for your claim, you pay nothing.
The right attorney can have a significant positive influence on the outcome of any personal injury claim in Sacramento. Rideshare accidents tend to raise more complex questions regarding liability and auto insurance than most other car accidents, and the average person caught in the aftermath of a rideshare accident may be unable to navigate their case on their own. Guenard & Bozarth, LLP, is ready to provide the comprehensive legal counsel you need in this situation, so contact us today and schedule your free consultation with a Sacramento rideshare accident attorney.
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We will promptly investigate your car, motorcycle or truck crash to pursue maximum damages.
We fight back when legitimate claims are unfairly denied by insurance companies.
Bad faith litigation is becoming more common as the insurance industry continues to engage in dishonest practices that trample the rights of policyholders.
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CAR ACCIDENT INJURY
Guenard & Bozarth llp obtained a $2,962,903 jury verdict in the Sacramento County Superior Court for plaintiff David Schoonover, who suffered head and neck injuries and fractures in a head-on accident on Roseville Road in Roseville on July 22, 2012
HAIR SALON INJURY
Guenard & Bozarth LLP recently settled a case for $300,000 involving a hair weave that went terribly wrong. Our client was a young lady, and aspiring model, who experienced pressure necrosis from a tight weave and it changed her life.
SLIP & FALL INJURY
Guenard & Bozarth LLP recently settled a slip and fall case for $500,000 a couple weeks before trial. The client slipped and fell on a wet piece of cardboard in a grocery store and sustained a serious shoulder injury that required surgery.
On February 13, 2013 Maricela, a Certified Nursing Assistant presented to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Emergency Room with complaint of neck and back pain. She was diagnosed with a neck strain and was given Ibuprofen and instructed to return if her symptoms did not subside.
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